The most Popular Posts of the past seven days.

May 28, 2020

Six months till 2020 Iron Bowl...IF...

     The 2020 Iron Bowl is scheduled for six months from today....but it's anyone's guess whether there will even be a 2020 match up, or even a 2020 College Football Season!

Montgomery's Cramton Bowl. Will Bryant Denny Be Empty too?
 As of May 1st, THIS was the schedule, but the closer we get to day one of play....three months from tomorrow...the less likely there will be a full season. 

The New York Times reported this week that the thought of a year with no college football is almost unthinkable...

To many players, the prospect of a season lost to the coronavirus pandemic would be crushing, especially to juniors and seniors whose dreams of jumping to the N.F.L. or having one last hurrah could be deferred for another year, much like athletes whose sports were halted in March. “Players have worked their whole lives for this,” said Camren McDonald, a junior tight end at Florida State, who called a lost season a worst-case scenario.
                                                                                       (N.Y. Times, 5-27-2020)


May 27, 2020

Stuff we've far.

     Just about every week I come across another annual event that did not or will not happen this year in Montgomery...because of, well, you know what.

     But the first thing cancelled was not as a result of the Covid19. The Capital City Classic baseball game between Alabama and Auburn was supposed to be played in March, but a scheduling conflict caused it to be called off last October.  
     Little did we know that it would have been cancelled anyway, part of a cascade of cancellations that was about to come! There has yet to be a single Montgomery Biscuits game played, and that entire season is in danger. Virtually all sporting events have been cancelled.

     We missed The annual Book Festival at Old Alabama Town; we missed the SLE Rodeo;  we missed the grand opening of the Selma-to-Montgomery Interpretive Center on the ASU Campus (which is snake bit or something, the opening was delayed again and again, once because the Congress couldn't agree on a
budget!)...The U.S. Park Service and ASU had held a media preview just before the plug was pulled, again!);
We missed the premier of the movie Son of The South, a mostly Montgomery-filmed bioptic in which I have a small speaking part (it will show eventually!); we missed The Capital of Dreams Triathlon; we missed The Flimp Festival at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts; we missed weekly cruises on The Harriet Two; plus all of the other Springs events: graduations and proms and big weddings and...more than I can count.
     And think of all of the non-profit fundraising events that could not be held! The walks and runs, the cooking competitions, and dress-your-pet contests, all raising money for good causes!
     I would normally go up to Birmingham to be a judge in the big Do Dah Day Parade, a fundraiser for the Humane Society. Nope, not this year. We, or at least I, missed that too.

May 26, 2020

MEDIA: At Least 10 Local TV Stations Pushed the Same Amazon-Scripted Segment

Could this happen on the station you watch? Running an Amazon-created "story" great Amazon is.

SHAME on the 4 NBC, 5 ABC,  and 1 CBS station that put it on the air...some several times!!!!! Where are their News Directors?

P.P.S. to my Memorial Day post

     Cemeteries are always sad, of course, but among the grave-sites I visited on Memorial Day in Montgomery's Oakwood Cemetery, these two stood out: one with no name or other information, by itself. 

The other is part of a huge stone marking the deaths of several members of the Hill family in the 1850's, including two children, four year old William, and seven year old Lucy. I'm confident the mortality rate for children back then was even worst than now.

The family monument in a fenced-in plot of graves from the Hill family.

Whew! Glad Alabama Is Free of A Destructive State Lottery!!!

From PEW:

"At a time when cooped-up Americans are looking for entertainment and hoping for a windfall more than ever, scratch-off lottery ticket sales have skyrocketed.
It’s a rare bright spot for state budgets, since most states’ tax revenue has dropped and spending is up because of the coronavirus.
For example, in Oklahoma, total lottery sales were just over $7.7 million for the week ending April 25, up about 75% compared with the same time last year, driven almost entirely by scratch-offs. That included nearly $5.9 million in scratch-off sales, up from $2.5 million last year.
"People are looking for things to do. People can’t gamble on sports, can’t watch sports, can’t go to casinos, can’t go to movies."
Jay Finks, marketing director Oklahoma Lottery"

Thank You Alabama State Legislators and Governor!!!!

May 25, 2020



In the meantime you are blocking me from doing anything? Really? NO OTHER OPTION OTHER THAN TO FOLLOW YOUR REDESIGN SCHEME?

Memorial Day 2020

     I went looking for Memorial Day recognition today at places where Veterans are remembered or buried.....but it appeared I was alone for the day.
     I didn't see a single flag at a grave in the old part of Oak Cemetery in Montgomery. 
     I expected that at the Civil War graves, since that part of the cemetery contains many hundreds of confederate graves,

 Some of them are of unknown Confederate soldiers. And there is, at least in Alabama, a Confederate Memorial Day.


But there was no recognition at the downtown Korean War Memorial either. 

Nor at the World War II Memorial at the VFW building 
Downtown.  The flag was at half-staff (But the Governor ordered that for the law enforcement officers memorial day.) 
Side note: the VFW removed vandal-damaged vases from the top of marble columns almost four years ago. They represented wars in which the U.S. fought. 

The monolith honoring all war dead from Alabama still stands:

It would be nice now if the VFW did something with the stone pedestals that were left behind, including this one representing the Vietnam War, with electric cables dangling from it.

     I couldn't find the Vietnam War Memorial at the Veterans Administration Medical Center on Perry Hill Road, though I read that is were it is. None of the directional signs pointed the way.

     Finally I visited the WWI Memorial outside the old rail terminal building downtown...and voila! Someone had placed a bouquet of flowers at the foot of the statue:

Thank you!!!!

May 24, 2020

No, George Wallace was not a Republican.

     The right wing media, led by FOX, is attacking an article in GQ Magazine because the author identified the late Alabama Governor George Wallace as a Republican.
     She was wrong, of course.
     During almost all of the years George Wallace was Governor, there was virtually NO Republican Party in Alabama! There was no need for the party, since the Democratic Party was even more conservative. And Wallace fit right in.
Emory Folmar
     He was elected the last time in 1982 as the Democratic Nominee. His opponent in the November General Election was former Montgomery Mayor Emory Folmar, who in some ways was even more of a right-winger. Wallace had apologized in public for his racist past, and visited the Dexter Avenue Memorial Church. In November, Wallace received 650,538 (57.64%) votes against Folmar's 440,815 (39.06%). Wallace won a third of the black vote.

George Wallace, III (aka Junior)
      This error happens again and again, mostly by writers who don't know Alabama politics and assume he was a Republican. Let me point out that his son, George, III (usually called George Wallace, Junior), ran several times for state office as both  a Democrat and as a Republican...once that party started to gain strength. He was elected State Treasurer and to a position on the Public Service Commission.

80 year anniversary Edmund Pettis Bridge Opening on 5-24-1940

 (Wikipedia article)
"In 1935, massive flooding on the Alabama River in Selma submerged the US 80 bridge under the surge, halting all traffic between Selma and Lowndes County. The bridge, built in 1885 was constructed without taking the maximum river flood height into account. Plans already in place for a large replacement steel and concrete bridge were expedited by the Alabama Highway Department.[38] No major changes would be made to US 80 until 1940, when the route from Society Hill to Crawford was paved and the remainder of the highway between Phenix City and Tuskegee was also undergoing paving work.[24] Finally in 1943, the entire highway had been paved from Mississippi to Georgia.[14] The replacement bridge over the Alabama River in Selma was completed the same year and was officially named the Edmund Pettus Bridge after the Alabama statesman and American Civil War veteran Edmund W. Pettus.

 The 1885 bridge began demolition shortly after the Edmund Pettus Bridge opened. During the opening ceremony on May 24, 1940, Pettus' daughter in law cut the ribbon to officially open the bridge to traffic. Alabama governor Frank M. Dixon, attended the ceremony as well. In total, the construction of the Edmund Pettus Bridge cost $863,000 US.[39]"

May 23, 2020

Harry Belafonte Hosting The Tonight Show: MLK was a guest.

     It happened for a week in 1968...a documentary about it is one of the victims of Covid19. 
     The documentary was going to be shown at the now cancelled Tribeca Film Festival in New York....and eventually will be show somewhere somehow.

 In the meantime, Variety magazine has posted a great article about the event. Read it HERE.

Wetumpka's Jasmine Hill Gardens Closing?

"While it is hard to know what the future holds,
we must share that Jasmine Hill will not reopen."

That's the shocking message posted on the gardens website and their Facebook page. I've asked them to call me to answer some questions and will update this posting if they do.

"​Jasmine Hill,  "Alabama's Little Corner of Greece", features over 20 acres of year-round floral beauty and classical sculpture, including statuary honoring Olympic heroes and mythical gods.  A tour of Jasmine Hill, accessible to visitors with disabilities, offers spectacular and ever-changing views, including our full-scale replica of the Temple of Hera ruins as found in Olympia, Greece, the birthplace of the Olympic Flame."

Note---though the Jasmine Hill website and Facebook page state unequivocally that they will not reopen, they wrote to me the following:

"We are so grateful for the many who have supported Jasmine Hill over the past 90 years. We know not what the future holds for our world or for Jasmine Hill, but what we do know is that the future will be one in which people discover meaningful ways to continue to connect with art and nature. The earth requires our attention, and our natural world is the key to healing and wellness. The arts allow us to nurture our creative spirit and make life all the more beautiful. Here’s to the wonderful world that together we will make, as art and nature intersect for peace and the planet."

Thanks for caring,
Elmore DeMott
Jasmine Hill Foundation

Attention Parent Home-Schoolers during Covid19

There's a free non-profit resource to help you teach your children about Alabama History.


Drones Over Montgomery?

     Someone alerted me to what appeared to be a pack of drones over part of Montgomery Thursday evening, May 21st, just before 6:00PM. I was looking north toward Downtown from the Garden District when I took these photos.

     Or are they birds? They moved like drones, and I could not detect any "wing" flapping.

Any thoughts?


Hot Air Balloons

MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. – The Alabama Jubilee hot Air Balloon Classic is still on!
However, event organizers say there will be several changes to the event this year.
The event will be one day only, Saturday, May 23.
Pilots will inflate their balloons all across Morgan County and take to the skies for a non-competitive flight at 6:30 a.m. If weather is bad, the flight may take place on Sunday, May 24.
At 8 p.m. Saturday, pilots will inflate their balloons across Morgan County and glow for viewing from a distance. Spectators are asked to respect social distancing guidelines and stay away from the balloons, crews, or pilots.
The car, tractor, and arts and craft shows are canceled, along with vendor booths and tether rides.
Event organizers said there may be a second event later in the summer and encouraged fans to watch the Jubilee’s Facebook, Instagram, and website for the latest information.

B-Day # 70

  • 2,209,075,200 seconds
  • 36,817,920 minutes
  • 613,632 hours
  • 25,568 days
  • 3652 weeks and 4 days

May 22, 2020

Alabama and 23 Other States have "Uncontrolled Covid19 Spread"

The Washington Post reports:

"Other models released in recent days captured a similarly mixed found much of the country was in decent shape for reopening, but worrisome areas remain, including Houston, Dallas, South Florida and Alabama..."

...Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) defended her decision to reopen concert venues, movie theaters and other businesses despite rising case numbers.
“We cannot sustain a delayed way of life as we search for a vaccine,” she said. “Having a life means having a livelihood, too... if we start going in the wrong direction, we reserve the right to come back in and reverse.”

June Cover of S.I.


Will there even be a 2020 MiLB Season, including here in Montgomery with the Biscuits? 

With no decision on the Memorial Day Weekend, it appears less and less likely.

Here is the S.I. cover story.

High Unemployment = Fewer Mortgage Payments

Alabama is one of the five top states when it comes to homeowners being 90 days behind in making their mortgage payments. That's according to Black Knight* Their headline:

Past-Due Mortgages Increase by 1.6 Million in April, Largest Single-Month Increase Ever Recorded; Delinquency Rate Nearly Doubles







The five States are all in The South:  Mississippi






*a leading provider of integrated software, data and analytics solutions that facilitate and automate many of the business processes across the homeownership life cycle.

County Unemployment rates, ranging from 8.1% to 26%

Only a handful of counties are NOT in double digit unemployment. Worst unemployment in Alabama in 38 years.
Note the State Department of Labor news release blames it all on outside influences---the pandemic---but when the rate is low, it's all because of the hard work of your state elected officials.  

May 21, 2020

About Friday's uemployment numbers

A reminder:  the Alabama unemployment numbers for April 2020 will be released tomorrow.
Larger than the Great Depression numbers?

Left: The first store of the chain that became J.C. Penny. It declared bankruptcy last Friday.

Historic Alabama High Jobless rate: 
15.5 (Dec. 1982) 

Reminder: State officials brag about the low rates when that happens. Don't let then dodge responsibility for the high rates.